Food culture scholarships
The Menu was delighted to make recent mention of a new UCC postgraduate diploma in Irish food culture and is equally pleased to announce availability of two new bursaries for same. The Chapter One student bursary, sponsored by Chapter One chef/proprietor Ross Lewis is valued at €6,000 and is open to competition among suitably qualified candidates. The adult continuing education Sanctuary scholarships cover a place for an asylum seeker or refugee whose status in Ireland has not been determined, who is not eligible for typical social welfare entitlements and who also meets the specific course entry requirements. (www.ucc.ie/en/ace/courses/)
Having reapplied the slap in a most becoming fashion, the newly spruced up Shelbourne Hotel hosts an exclusive Laurent-Perrier Champagne dinner (August 21) hosted by one of The Menu’s most favourite people in Irish food, wine writer Tomás Clancy. Champagne will be served on the terrace and in the Saddle Room, with a five-courser courtesy of executive head chef Garry Hughes. Special overnighter packages are available. (theshelbourne.com).
Limerick’s Hampton’s Bar & Grill returns with the tenth iteration of its annual Lobsterfest which runs until the end of September showcasing fine Irish lobster from Carrigaholt, Co Clare (hamptonsgrill.ie).
Space for food
One of Ireland’s most enlightened hospitality enterprises, the catering services company FoodSpace celebrates the summer harvest with a seasonal dinner (August 23) in its flagship cafe INK in Dun Laoghaire, where it will not only showcase its own especial commitment to the very best of local Irish produce but also its equally passionate commitment to zero waste and to sustainability in all aspects for the business, including the removal of cling film from its operations across the country. (eventbrite.ie/e/summer-harvest-dinner-tickets-65421516517)
The House of Peroni returns to Dublin (August 22 to September 1), featuring the talents of award-winning designer Roisin Lafferty, Aniar chef de partie Killian Crowley, and Algorithm creative director Kev Freeney, with Crowley offering a six-course tasting menu served Pugliese-style, while Lafferty and Freeney oversee ambience and atmospherics (thehouseofperoni.com)
Taste the north-west
Taste of Donegal Food Festival (August 23-25 has added a Children’s Kids Kitchen to its packed programme offering interactive workshops, cookery demonstrations by award-winning celebrity chefs, experts on education, sustainability, and biodiversity with some balloon magic and an Agri Aware Open Farm. atasteofdonegal.com
One consequence of the recession was a frenzied craving for all manner of nostalgic dishes from our culinary past, that we might find some much-needed stability and security in embrace of familiar culinary comfort blankets.
And so we embraced offal and pies, swapped ‘desserts’ for ‘puddings’, and generally carried on as if we were all expecting Mrs Beeton herself around for high tea.
Curiously, a once beloved staple, trout, didn’t seem to overly exercise the imagination, an egregious omission by The Menu’s lights, for he has always been fond of a bit of trout.
It is quite some time since he last caught and ate a fresh one but happening on one of the Goatsbridge Trout Farm’s Smoked Rainbow Trout proved a most serendipitous encounter.
He has oft written of the Kilkenny-based second-generation family trout farm, in particular its trout ‘caviar’, a splendid grace note in many a recent Irish fish dish, but yet to make mention of the actual fish. This particular portion wore a sweet mild smokiness that couldn’t quite conceal that original clean nutty flavour, a simplicity that required an equally demure partner which The Menu found in some local West Cork-grown pink fir apple potatoes, their own waxy nuttiness, a perfect foil, a dish he capped with homemadefennel butter, made with Cuinneog cultured butter. goatsbridgetrout.ie
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